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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘medical care’

Despite Rockets: PA, Gaza Arabs treated at Haifa Hospital

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Palestinian terrorists may be firing one rocket at Israeli civilians every 10 minutes, but that hasn’t altered Jews’ approach to treating Arab victims of Hamas from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority. Currently,  three adults and eight children from Gaza are hospitalised at Rambam Hospital, in addition to three adults and two children from the PA. In addition, seven PA Arabs have been treated this week at the hospital’s outpatient clinics. Additional patients from Gaza are scheduled for treatments later this week.

Most of the hospitalized children are in the pediatric oncology or nephrology wards. Of these, the majority is under the age of three, and they are accompanied by relatives. Additional medical problems and the need for long-term treatment makes lengthy hospitalizations standard for these children.

Yazid Falah, the hospital’s coordinator for Palestinian patients, said medical cooperation between Israel and the PA continues despite the rocket fire.

“Despite the security situation, and despite the fact that both sides are fighting, all continues as usual in the realm of medical cooperation. Even in times of war we continue to receive patients and give them the care they need—children and adults,” Falah said.

Falah added that while treatments for all patients have continued unabated, the fighting between Israel and Hamas has created an unmistakably difficult situation for many patients.  “On the one hand they are in Israel and see the consequences of Hamas’ actions and how people get hurt on this side of the border. On the other hand, they fear for the lives of their family members back in Gaza,” Falah said. “There are those who have told me they are ashamed of what Hamas is doing; others say they are afraid of how people will talk and look at them here in the hospital. Some say they are afraid to return to Gaza. Others just don’t know what to think. They have a life there and see the kind of life people have here.

“At the end of the day, they simply want to live in peace, but it is clear to them that the situation has changed. They believe the situation is only going to get worse,” Falah said.

“When the hostilities escalated, the Palestinian patients feared a cold reception,” says Falah, “we explained that would never happen in an Israeli hospital. Here you see people and not nationalities. Many times, Israeli patients reach out to their Palestinian “neighbors” to help them feel more comfortable and to encourage them. Eventually, all are in the same boat.”

Meir Halevi Siegel

IDF Helps Palestinians Cross into Israel from Gaza

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Major Tariq is a senior commander at the Erez Crossing where he helps thousands of Palestinians cross from Gaza into Israel every month.

Major Tariq, a senior commander in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), works in one of Israel’s most sensitive areas. Stationed at the Erez Crossing – just steps away from Gaza – he and his soldiers face the constant threat of attacks from Hamas terrorists. Since 2005, Hamas has launched 8,000 rockets from Gaza at populated areas in Israel’s southern region.

Despite the danger, Maj. Tariq works every day to help Palestinians cross into Israel from Gaza. As a result of his cooperation with the Palestinian Authority – which also works with a division of COGAT in Judea and Samaria  –  about 400 Gazans travel into Israel each day through the Erez crossing.

“The majority of requests are related to health problems,” Maj. Tariq said of civilians traveling through the crossing. Several times each day, Maj. Tariq and his staff direct the Palestinians to Israeli hospitals that can treat their conditions. IDF officials estimate that some 100 Palestinians seeking medical care travel into Israel each day.

Although Palestinians can receive medical treatment in Gaza, many turn to Israeli hospitals for more advanced care.  “It is important to note that there are 27 hospitals in Gaza. Gaza’s population has the ability to receive medical care on site,” Maj. Tariq explained, adding that Israeli hospitals can handle complex health problems that Gazan hospitals are incapable of treating.

Photo credit: IDF

Photo credit: IDF

“When a child is sick, injured and needs prompt treatment, we take all precautions and measures so that the child can pass through the crossing as quickly as possible,” Maj. Tariq said, explaining that all Gazans in urgent need of medical care receive the highest-priority treatment at the crossing. “IDF soldiers ensure that an ambulance arrives and brings the patients to a nearby Israeli hospital, where they receive necessary medical care,” Maj. Tariq added.

Many other Gazans cross into Israel to visit relatives living in Judea and Samaria. Each month, IDF officials help more than 3,000 Palestinians pass through the crossing to visit their families. This month, as Palestinian Muslims observe the holiday of Ramadan, higher numbers of travelers are visiting Israel to celebrate the holiday with family members.

Palestinians cross into Israel for Ramadan. Photo credit: IDF

Palestinians cross into Israel for Ramadan. Photo credit: IDF


Speaking Their Language

Maj. Tariq, who comes from a Druze community in Israel’s north, grew up speaking Arabic like many other members of his unit. His fluency allows for a direct line of communication between the IDF and Palestinian travelers. According to Maj. Tariq, he often speaks directly with Gaza residents to understand their needs on an individual level.

Maj. Tariq is responsible for facilitating all passages through the Erez Crossing. Photo credit: IDF

Maj. Tariq is responsible for facilitating all passages through the Erez Crossing. Photo credit: IDF

Native speakers of Arabic like Maj. Tariq are not the only soldiers who can speak with the travelers in their native language. The unit requires all of its members – from new recruits to commanders – to complete a course in Arabic. This policy ensures that all of the unit’s soldiers are prepared to communicate with Gazans directly to discuss their specific requests.
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/idf-helps-palestinians-cross-into-israel-from-gaza/2013/07/31/

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